Crochet Braids: Biba Lock Twist Braid Install

I love crochet braids, my favorite style being with Marley hair (or Afro _____ hair. The Marleys have their trademark on LOCK!). I love crochet braids so much that when I’m over wearing my hair out and I need a dose of “get cho life” hair, I head to one of my favorite beauty supply stores and pick up at least 4 packs of Afro hair and get to work! For my last big hair install, I decided to use the Biba Lock Twist hair in the colors 1b and 1b/350. I decided on this hair after I couldn’t find the Freetress Equal Jamaican Twist Braid. The hair felt nice and soft, a texture I had not experienced with other “Marley” hair. Before installing the hair, I made it a point to soak the hair in a mixture of Apple cider vinegar and water. This removed any of that nasty, filmy stuff on the hair that can cause your scalp to itch and feel inflamed. I rinsed the hair in cool water and allowed it to air dry. After gathering my crochet needles, my beader (for my edges), and braiding my hair down, it was time to get to work.

My hair was a work in progress.

I originally purchased 4 packs of hair, which is my norm for crochet braids. I always make it a point to cut my hair in half and pull the hair apart to create more hair for myself. This hair separated very nicely for me. Typically, when I use “Marley” hair and I want to separate the hair, I would have to comb the hair out to separate it. I appreciated this hair because I didn’t have to do all of that. I got a little tangling when separating, but it wasn’t a big deal. With the flash photo, I was very skeptical about the color. Even though I had a 1b/350, more of the 350 showed on top. I was nervous, but I continued installing the hair.

“Would you believe me if I said I still wasn’t done?”

At this point, I ran out of hair. Can you believe that?! That was one thing I did not like about this hair. The amount of hair in the package was lackluster, for lack of a better word. Even with cutting the hair in half, I didn’t have enough to fill in parts of the back of my head, as well as the front. So, the next day, I went out and purchased four more packs of hair; two packages of 1b, and two packages 1b/350. My journey to big hair continued. I was able to finish my hair with about 6 packages of hair, with the hair cut in half. I realized that I had too much of the reddish color in the front and at the time, I didn’t think I could find a product that I could use in my eyebrows to match my new hair color. To remedy this, I added more of the 1b in the front to frame the face and match my eyebrows.
Finally, I was done with installing my hair. I still had to cut the hair to shape it to the way I liked. I thought about rodding the hair and having my Mama help me dip it, but I decided against it; big Afro hair is life, so I decided to keep it in its Afro state. My main goal in cutting the hair was cutting the stray hairs in a diagonal fashion, so that I got a rounded shape with my hair. I did as much cutting as to my liking before calling it a night. This style took a day and a half to do (mainly due to running out of hair and laziness). 

As you can see in this photo, I cut and styled the hair to my liking. In order to sleep on this hair, I twisted it up and wore my satin bonnet. In the sunlight, this hair really blended better than I thought it would. The hair was perfectly big and bold, but still tame enough to where it looked natural. The colors were amazing together. The texture of this hair was also great. It looked as though it was combed out, but it wasn’t. Now, under this style, I needed to take care of my hair, of course. To moisturize my hair underneath, I used S-Curl No Drip Activator and my oil mix to moisturize and seal. This helped keep my hair soft underneath my crochet braids, and my scalp from hurting from the added hair.
You could not tell me anything while I rocked this hairstyle. “Shuna Rae, your edges aren’t slicked down!” “But this hair though.” I felt like Diana Ross’s long lost daughter, and I just needed to find a microphone and bless the world with these vocals (spoiler alert: I can’t sing lol). I was all, “yassss honey yassss!” There is something about big hair and a new color that just makes my spirit happy and my days brighter. Mission “get cho life” hair was complete. 

I kept this hairstyle in for about two weeks before taking it out to relax my hair. I am considering going back to this style for the holidays if I do not wear my own hair. Only problem is figuring out how to put a Santa hat on top of this hair.  Oh well. Please enjoy some of my favorite photos of me rocking this style:
Filtered to show the contrast in the colors. Clearly, I’m trying to slay the game.
No filter; just natural light. The flash fooled me. These colors looked beautiful together; bold, but not too much.

Excuse me…but have you gotten your life yet?

I thank you for reading and I hope you found this post helpful in some way. Do you have any photos of you slaying the game with a crochet braid install? Do you have a favorite brand of “Marley” hair you like to use for your installs? Please share them with me! Until next time, have a wonderful and blessed day!

Creme of Nature Straight From Eden Product Review

Hey my beauties! It has been a long time since I’ve mentioned my relaxed hair, and even longer since I talked about actually getting a relaxer done. Today, I am currently two weeks post relaxer, and an update is long overdue. I have recently switched my relaxer to one that is has tons of hype around it and that is the Creme of Nature Straight from Eden relaxer system. I am a sucker for new hair products and I knew that my product junkie heart would not rest until I tried out this relaxer for myself. Today, I will be reviewing the relaxer system, as well as other products from the Straight From Eden line that I used on my relax day (Monday, November 24th).
Relaxer System: Creme of Nature Straight From Eden Type B (for normal, coarse and resistant hair); two boxes used for relaxer day.

In the relaxer kit, you should expect to see the 100% Plant-Dervied Straightening Creme (labeled A), the Activator (labeled B), the Creme Booster (labeled C), the Plant-Dervived Hydrating Shampoo, the Plant-Dervived Conditioning Treatment, a wooden applicator, gloves, and literature about the relaxer including application times and instructions for retouches and first time relaxers.
Before my relaxer prep week, I wore my hair straight to clip off any dead ends I saw. This helped m get rid of hair that were stringy, knotty, and just down right thin. To prep for my relaxer, I clarified my hair with the Elasta QP Soy Oyl Neutralizing Shampoo and skipped the deep conditioner. Three weeks before my relaxer, I used too much protein in my hair, and needed my relaxer to really break down those protein bonds to help soften my hair. Sounds crazy I know, but I was hoping that this worked. After clarifying my hair, I did a flexi-rod set to stretch my hair and make it easier to see where my natural hair ended and my relaxed strands began. I did this on a Thursday I believe, and relaxed on Monday.
I always have my mom relax my hair for me, but I guide her in what to do first. Before mixing up the relaxer, my mom lined my scalp, ears, and nape with heavy petroleum jelly. She coated my relaxed ends with a heavy amount of castor oil and separated my hair into four sections. I used both of the relaxers picture above to relax my hair; trust me, when you’re about a year post relaxer, you’ll need two relaxer kits. One great thing about this relaxer is that it did not burn my scalp AT ALL. Once the relaxer was applied and smoothed, I jumped in the shower to begin the neutralizing process. Here is how I neutralize my hair and add protein to my hair while in the shower:
  1. I begin by rinsing my hair of the relaxer under warm to hot water. I will rinse my hair of the relaxer until my hair no longer feels heavy and weighed down.
  2. Once the relaxer is out of my hair, I apply the ApHogee 2-Minute Reconstructor and leave it on for five minutes. This time around, I split my hair into two sections to apply this mid-step protein treatment and combed the treatment in my hair. While waiting to rinse out, I gathered my neutralizing shampoos to be within arms reach/
  3. After the five minutes have past, I neutralized my hair with the Creme of Nature Plant-Derived Hydrating Shampoo. I did not like this shampoo as a neutralizer, although this is the shampoo that came with the relaxer kit. I saw no color change when I applied the shampoo and washed/rinsed twice. It was time to bring out my old faithful Elasta QP Soy Oyl Neutralizing Shampoo. With this shampoo, I shampooed my hair until I no longer saw pink suds, which was about 6 more times.
  4. After shampooing/neutralizing my hair thoroughly, I wrapped my hair in my Turbie Twist hair towel, allowing it to soak up the excess water.
  5. On damp hair, I applied the Plant-Derived Conditioning Treatment and deep conditioned for 30 minutes. Now, while I enjoyed the softness this product gave my hair as I deep conditioned, applying this product wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be, The deep conditioner felt sticky on my hands and hair and that is something I do not like. Despite that, I really like this deep conditioner.
  6. After deep conditioning, I rinsed with cool water and let my hair air dry. I straightened my hair to give myself a trim and I wore my hair straightened for a week.

My hair after relaxer. Hair was straightened and slightly curled for body.

Would I use this relaxer again? Yes, for a multitude of reasons. This relaxer felt very gentle on my hair and didn’t burn my scalp. It also did not have that tell-all relaxer smell, which made the experience for me and my mother a better one that we’ve had in the past. Although this relaxer did straighten out my hair greatly, it did not get it bone straight, which is something I loved. If you don’t mind a little texture in your hair when you relax, this relaxer is perfect, however, I wouldn’t recommend this if you want your hair bone straight. I could personally do without the shampoo as a neutralizer, but it does do well as a shampoo after the relaxer. I used it on 1-week post hair and it left my hair feeling soft, but clean.
I hope you found this review helpful. If I missed anything or didn’t answer all of your questions, please feel free to leave them down below and I will be sure to answer them. I hope you have a fabulous day, and until next time, bye!